{Levi - 2 Months}


Levi Daniel, you are two months old!

Levi, you continue to have a sweet and calm disposition! You typically only cry if you are hungry or cold. But mama and papa have seemed to figure out the right temperature for you and are pretty good about feeding you - so there is not much crying going on. You do have a 7pm-9pm witching hour, but even then you are not exactly fussy. You just do not want to be asleep. You love to smile and you have started "talking" to us more as you coo and babble. 

Recently you have become such an efficient eater that mama and papa were worried that you weren't eating enough. But at your two month appointment you were 13lbs, 8oz (78th percentile) and 23.8 inches long (83rd percentile) which is right inline with where you should be. Your pediatrician says that your eating is great! 

You love looking at colors and especially things with high contrast. We often find you smiling at your car seat canopy because of the fun pattern. You track mama's bright pink water bottle, and recently you were enamored with a friend's bright yellow princess dress. Your tracking isn't limited to just following things with color. When you are awake you love watching your big brother. You often smile at him, especially if he dances for you. Levi, your brother loves you so much. He will often wake up in the morning and ask about you immediately when Mama or Papa comes in the room. We hope this is the beginning of a really great bond between you two.

Levi, your sleep is getting better. Once you hit 7 weeks, Mama became more diligent about putting you in the crib for naps during the day. You have been doing really well with an eat, play, sleep schedule. You are typically awake for 45-50 minutes and then you start giving cues that you are tired. We have started laying you in your crib wide awake and you have done a great job putting yourself to sleep. Sometimes you fuss, but even then it usually only takes you 10-15 minutes to fall asleep. At night you will typically do a 4 hour stretch, a 3 hour stretch, and then a 1 to 2 hour stretch. However, just as you approached the two month mark you did two nights in a row with a 6 hour stretch of sleep which felt heavenly!

You have had a busy second month! You tag along on all of Elijah's adventures, but you have been getting play time with other babies like Beckett and Lucianna. You have also had several big doctor appointments around your vascular birthmark which have all been positive. We went to Leavenworth over the Fourth of July Holiday weekend with our friends the Baughn's and the Helmbrecht's and you loved watching all the kids run around.

During your third month of life we think you are looking forward to play dates with your friends and attending the Amazon Family picnic. 

Here are some photos from you second month of life.

{Levi - 1 Month}


Levi Daniel, you are one month old today!

Levi, You are a wonderful addition to the family! It has been very exciting to finally get to meet you and call you by name. Mama and Papa love you dearly, as well as your big brother Elijah! He often wakes up in the morning talking about you and asking if you are downstairs, sleeping, or eating. He loves to talk to you, kiss you, touch you, and lay with you on your blanket. Your big brother also loves to help you whenever he can - from pushing your stroller, to throwing away your diapers, to helping hold your car seat. We hope this is the start of a wonderful, lifelong friendship between you two.

Your first month has sailed along smoothly! Levi you are calm and observant. You let us know if you want to eat, or if you're cold, but otherwise you are a very quiet guy. Even when you sleep, you do not make much noise which makes papa nervous (he checks on you several times a night). Before you were born both Mama and Papa were nervous about whether you would be a good eater and how you would latch. But you've been a wonderful eater and seems to really enjoy the special time with Mama. You have even started to respond to our voices by giving us a sweet smile.

Levi, you have settled into a pretty easy pattern. During the day you like to eat every two hours. You wake, eat for 20-30 minutes, play for 15-20 minutes and then it is back down to sleep. You are often sleeping in your swing or bassinet during the day. At night, you tend to sleep 3-4 hours between feedings. Usually mama and papa are up with you a couple times at night. We even had a couple nights where we were only up once, that was magical! As you have approached your one month growth spurt, you are up every 2-3 hours at night to eat.

During the first few days of life, you lost 10% of your body weight which is typical. However, you were on the slow side of gaining back to your birth weight. We found out (the hard way for mama) that you had a tongue tie which was affecting how hard you had to work to get your food. As soon as we found that out, we had it cut. Your weight gain started to increase from there and by two and a half weeks you were back up to birth weight. Your feeding times also went from 50 minutes to about 25 minutes. Just a few days ago, you clocked in at 9lbs, 13oz which is right on target. 

Summer weather has started to show up, so we have been trying to get out and about. You have been on walks around the neighborhood and even an epic walk around Greenlake. You typically like being in the stroller as long as it is moving and on a bumpy path. But like your brother, you definitely will let us know that you do not like it when we stop walking.

Mama and Papa are trying to figure out special nicknames just for you. Typically we call you Tiny Man or Levi-Bear. It is hard for us to not call you the same nicknames that we have for Elijah. Sometimes Papa even slips and calls you Elijah or calls Elijah - Levi. Mama and Papa have especially loved being able to say "our boys" when talking about you and your brother.

It has been a busy first month for you Levi! Mama's dear friend Raena came to visit and take photos of you and Elijah, there was a shower to celebrate your arrival, and your Auntie Destiny, Cousin Eleanor, and Grandma Robin came to visit!

During the next month we think you are looking forward to celebrating your first 4th of July with friends in Leavenworth!

Here are some photos from your first month of life!

Photo Credit: Wilder Arts Photography

Photo Credit: Wilder Arts Photography

{Elijah James - 2 Years Old}


Elijah James, You are 2 years old!

You continue to grow in leaps and bounds. You are extremely observant of the world around you. You are constantly making observations and you love narrating what is happening around you. Each morning when Mama wakes you up, you will say "Mama here, Papa at work," you comment on the lights that papa fixed, you let us know if lights are on or off, if the heater is on or off, or if the washer is on or off. You also love telling us when we open or close the microwave. It seems that you are working hard to understand the world around you.

Elijah, you have quite the memory. You have memorized your favorite books and can tell us the story as we go through the book with you. Your favorite books include: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (which for a while you were calling Chicken Boom Boom), Every One Poops, Bedtime for Tad, Goodnight Gorilla, and Polar Bear Polar Bear. You have memorized the words to the Lord's Prayer and you say it with Papa each night. You have also memorized the words to songs like: Jesus Loves Me, I love you Lord, and It is Well. It seems that if you hear something more than once on a regular basis you will have it down in no time. You even like listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 album and can sing along with a couple of songs.

As your independence has grown and increased you are very fierce about what you can do and what you do not want us to do for you. You like to zip up your own PJ's, throw away your diapers, turn on and shut off your sound machine, put your dirty clothes in your hamper, turn lights on and off, wash your hands at the sink, open and close doors, push the buttons to make coffee, throw things away, open and close the garage, dump your pee from the little potty into the toilet and flush, feed Charlie, put on your hat when we go outside, climb into your high chair, and buckle yourself in. If you feel that we're doing something that you can do then you will throw a very large tantrum. You take your job as helper and your independence very seriously!

At the end of January you transitioned from you crib to a toddler bed. Mama and Papa were nervous about what this could mean at night time. Would you try getting out of your bed or would you be up and playing at weird times during the night? It turns out we had nothing to worry about. You seem to love your big boy bed. You especially love that you now have a pillow to sleep with and you get to pick a lovey.

Elijah you began potty training a couple weeks ago. In some ways it has been harder than we imagined and in other ways you have been so successful. Part of what has worked best is finding what works for you. You do not seem to like having mama and papa ask you or prompt you to use the potty. However, if we set a timer and allow the timer to do the prompting you are more than willing to try using the potty. We've also backed off from the adult potty with a kid’s seat on it and just let you use your little potty. We think you like feeling your feet on the ground. You've been so successful peeing in your little potty that mama now carries one around in a tote bag everywhere we go. You are also slowly getting better at telling us if you have to go potty but you're still working on identifying when you have to go #2.

In December you began transitioning to the Toddler 2 class at daycare and you fully joined the class in January. You really seem to enjoy your new class and all the activities that you are doing. You can name all the kids in your class and you even tell us who uses the potty at school. You enjoy your new teachers, Ms. Vera and Ms. Junny. You have even started practicing your Spanish with Ms. Junny. You can now say "Hola" and "cómo estás." We are working on responding with "bien y tu". Mama and Papa recently had our first Parent-Teacher conference with Ms. Vera.  You are right on track with where you should be developmentally and even a bit ahead in some areas. When papa asked your teacher how the school handles your tantrums (so we can be on the same page) we were told you never throw tantrums at school and that you are a sweet boy. It sounds like you save it all for at home.

Elijah, you are definitely throwing more tantrums at home. Usually it is around you not getting what you want, mama and papa forgetting to let you help with something, if mama and papa do not understand what you are asking for, or if we told you something was going to happen one way and then do something different. You have also had difficulty with transitions when we leave places. If you are not ready to go, you let us know.Tantrums are tough for everyone and we are continuing to try and figure out what works best for you. Often, if you can go for a walk you will calm down. So when you are having a rough time at home sometimes we will walk around the house holding hands and saying high to all your toys. This seems to help calm you down. We have been doing more time-outs but also trying to teach you calm down strategies, like taking deep breaths. Often we will hear you during the day say "Elijah time out" or "Elijah go lay down." Usually you are saying this when you are feeling upset about something and then you will go lay down on the couch for a quick moment.

You also love going for walks outside. When we are out for walks you like to point out every stop sign, every flag, any big trucks that you see, and you even recognize and tell us that intersections are "dangerous". You know the walking route to MOD Pizza which is your favorite restaurant. When we get to the end of the driveway at the beginning of a walk you will try to persuade us to take a left in the direction of MOD. Sometimes there are tears if we do not go left OR if we do not go to MOD. Mama and Papa have to be very clear before we leave the house on whether or not we will be going to MOD. And even then, any deviation is upsetting. For instance, one day you and Papa were out for a walk before meeting our friends Ryan, Sonja and Lucas at MOD. Papa told you that you were going to get MOD and that was all you would talk about on the walk. While out, you tripped and fell and Papa needed to get you home to clean up before lunch. You immediately recognized that you were going home and not to MOD and you became terribly upset.

Elijah, we are so excited to see you transition into being a big brother. We know that it will be difficult at first, but hope that it will not take long for you to acclimate. You already show so much love to baby. When we pray at dinner each night you pray "baby strong and healthy". It's adorable. You give lots of kisses to mama's belly for baby and sometimes you want to help feed baby by putting raisins and water on mama's belly. You are pretty convinced that you're having a baby sister, even though we decided not to find out the gender. We think this is because on your favorite cartoon, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Daniel had a baby sister.

These days you can say the alphabet and count from 1-10 (though 8 is always tricky). You continue to practice recognizing your colors, shapes, and you have started working on counting past 10. You enjoy playing with play-doh and markers. You love listening to music and you still ask for Baby Bumblebee, Wheels on the Bus, and Joy Down in My Heart on a regular basis. You also love listening to the Rizers and Tay Tay (Taylor Swift). Recently, you've made it a habit to ask papa to play the guitar for you each night. You love to come over and help strum the chords.

Elijah, you have been in a definite Papa phase. You ask for him in the morning, you look for him during the day and have started saying "mama here, papa work." If Papa is at home you usually want him to read you your stories or help you when you need help. You also ask to see videos of Papa and you will pull down his photo to look at. This past football season you heard papa cheering for the Seahawks a lot and you've started to make that a special phrase between you and him. As soon as Papa walks in the door after work you will yell "Papa Here!" and then immediately chant "Seahawks!" Every evening you enjoy helping papa unpack his work bag. If papa gets home while you are in the middle of eating you will try and tell mama that you are all done because you are eager to help papa put stuff away. Papa's influence carries over into your eating habits as well. Sometimes you'll refuse to eat something we put in front of you, but if we put it on papa's plate and you see papa eating it you will ask for a bite and then gobble it up.

You have had quite a few adventures recently! You have been to the zoo, the aquarium, the open gym at Seattle Gymnastics, and to Seabrook. You also got to enjoy a few snow days at home with mama. You enjoyed being out in the snow and walking, but were not so interested in playing in the snow.

Your play has started to incorporate imagination. For Christmas you were given a play kitchen with different food items and you have loved it! You enjoy pretending to put stuff on your pretend stove. You'll even mix stuff up with your little ladle and then ask mama or papa to taste it. You really enjoy moving your pots and pans and pretend food all around your toy kitchen.

Elijah, sometimes you say and do the funniest things. You enjoy making loud noises and then saying "Too Loud." Or you will tell mama that I am too loud. If mama yawns, you will say "Mama Tired." I told you recently that you were being very unkind to mama because you wouldn't let me sing in the car and you responded with "Elijah very VERY kind to mama." You also repeat what we say when you see things that we have talked about such as: “Stop signs or knives are dangerous". For a while there you were saying "No Way" all the time to everything. You might be moving away from that. Apparently mama responds with mmmmm hmmmm quite a bit because if I do it, you now say "mmmm hmmmm uhhh huhhh." Sometimes you grab my face with both hands on either side and pull me in for a big kiss. Those are my favorite and I will even ask you to grab my face so that you will do it. Recently, you've also started saying "I love you" which of course melts our hearts.

We had a very low key celebration of you turning 2 at home with a cupcake and singing. A few days later you had a very fun Daniel Tiger themed birthday party with all the kiddos that you see and play with on a regular basis.

Elijah, in the next few months we think you are looking forward to your first solo trip with Papa to DC, celebrating Easter, and meeting baby brother or baby sister in May.

Here are some photos and videos from the last few months:

 Decorating your Christmas Tree!
 Playing with the Nativity Set
 Sick day at home with mama
 Going for a walk to get Pizza!
 Snuggling with Charlie
 Not so sure about the snow
 Though you really liked finding a snowman
 You love feeding Charlie every night!
 Checking out the Christmas Lights with Papa

 Decorating a gingerbread house
 Zoo trip! So much to see

 Video chatting with Pop Pop & Grandma on Christmas Day
 Cutting with your new fruit

 Family Walk
 Visiting a new park!

 Checking out the beach at Seabrook
 Annual NYE Trip with the Kaetzel's

 Chasing the sunset
 Saying Hi to the Diver at the Aquarium

 Cooking breakfast for mama

 Snow in February!

 Donuts to celebrate Dominic's 2nd Birthday
A fun Daniel Tiger Birthday Party!